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  • Writer's pictureANNIKA Foundation

April Featured Player: Yana Wilson

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

In October, 12-year-old Yana Wilson attended the “Share My Passion” Clinic in Las Vegas where she was presented an invitation by Annika to compete in the Drive, Chip & Putt Finals. Not only did Yana get to participate at Augusta National, but she won the Girls 12-13 Division in the National Finals. Since beginning to play golf at the age of 4, Wilson has won more than 90 golf tournaments in her young career.

What is your favorite food?


If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Weather Control – Golf is already hard. Playing in heavy rain or tough weather conditions in the cold and wind makes it harder. Last summer we had our 2nd round at US kids World Championships canceled due to heavy rains and I had a great round going. Bummer!

What is your biggest fear?

I try to have no fears, especially on the golf course. Fears are useless to me and only get in the way of my dreams.

Who is your favorite golfer?

MinJee Lee. Also, Justin Thomas because he is an avid “Friends” watcher just like me!

What is your favorite movie?

Not a movie, but I enjoy watching “Friends” on Netflix! Maybe that’s my biggest fear – if Netflix stops showing “Friends”!

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's the time of year we get to spend cool time with family and I get to see my cousins!

How do you spend your free time outside of golf?

Working out, doing school work and watching “Friends.”

Who is your biggest role model and why?

My parents. They are always giving me good advice. They always remind me to work hard, be confident, stay positive and always be the best person I can be.

Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what are they?

Dodgeball, ping pong, surfing.

What is your greatest memory of playing golf so far?

Making a hole-in-one at Aviara Golf Club on No. 16, the par four, and also winning the Drive Chip & Putt National Finals.

How/Why did you start playing golf?

I started playing golf ever since I was about 4 years old. I begged my dad to take me to the range almost every day. He finally gave in one day and ever since he took me there, I was hooked.

What was your favorite golf tournament you have played in so far?

World Stars of Junior Golf and the Drive Chip and Putt at Augusta National

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring golfers younger than you who are just starting to play the game?

Always try your best on each and every shot, never give up and have fun while still practicing hard.

Congratulations on your recent win at the Drive, Chip & Putt. What did it mean to you to win there? Why do you think programs like this are so important for the game?

It was the opportunity of a lifetime! Winning there made being there 100 times more special. Playing in these events are very important because you learn so much about yourself and grow even more love for the game! It really shows that if you work hard, golf can open many opportunities for you! Programs like Drive Chip and Putt are growing the game. Every year, there are more and more golfers at local qualifying and it is exciting to see everyone there.

Can you share one fitness or health tip with us that positively impacts your game?

ALWAYS eat during your round and stay hydrated. I eat to keep my energy up especially late in the round. It also helps me stay mentally focused.

What was your best round of golf so far and where did it take place?

My best round of golf was at Paiute Golf Course in Nevada in the World Stars of Junior Golf Tournament when I shot a 65 (and was -18 for three days)

Who would be in your dream foursome? (You + three players)

Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry

When asked what golf means to her in just three words, Wilson used “amazing, challenging and unique.” With all of her success at such a young age, we have good reason to believe we will be seeing a lot more “amazing” moments from Yana. Thank you, Yana, for being this month’s Featured Player!

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